December

1/21/2015 10:29:00 am 0 Comments

Planning and a Partridge (but not in a pear tree!)

A year ago Nick Mottram from The Wychwood Project advised us on tree and shrub planting at Honeydale and amongst many great ideas, he suggested that we should speak with Tim Shardlow, Forestry Director, from Nicholsons Nurseries in North Aston. Tim has been really helpful and has been detailing a planting scheme since the summer which is now being implemented, with planting underway on seven acres near the road. This will provide a shelter belt to the four trials fields as well as a very useful, warm habitat for insects, birds and most mammals - except deer.



Roe deer are present at Honeydale and whilst they are pleasant to watch they are definitely not welcome in the new woodland and are being excluded with fencing to stop them eating the new planting. We are going to call the woodland Rebecca's Wood.

Honeydale’s Fencing Squad Leader is Tim, who does the planning and theoretical stuff and Bob Bishop and James Timmis who do the work!

We’ve also now marked out a slightly modified route for the spring water. We are going to create small dams and scrapes, a shallow area which will flood and is ideal for a wide range of wildlife but will also help prevent water running off Honeydale land to the valley below, which has suffered from flooding problems in the past.



Otherwise, December has been a relatively quiet month. The farm feels wintry and exposed and the birds less shy, venturing out to find food as it has turned colder. As we have some seed left over from our warehouse we are using this to provide supplementary bird feeding, as are many of our customers, though we are not doing it as part of HLS.

We’ve spotted an owl but we don’t know what sort yet, and we’ve also found an English Partridge. Sadly it was not sitting in a pear tree in Christmas spirit, but was laying dead and headless in the stubble. It was probably killed by a bird of prey but it’s a bit of a mystery since we’ve not seen any English Partridges on Honeydale before so are waiting and hoping that more may turn up.

We’re looking forward to 2015. Given that we are plant people we are particularly excited about the planting we are planning over the coming months.

Fiona Mountain

Graphic Designer at Cotswold Seeds Google

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